The lead teachers for the SustainED ict_pd cluster met today at Meadowbank School for the first of four meetings planned for 2008.
After outlining the contract the morning was spent exploring learning experiences to enhance student learning outcomes that might “give the leaders of tomorrow the knowledge they need to operate in a world rapidly running out of resources and facing the challenges of climate change.”
Teachers were asked to respond to the following question catalysts – to analyse what a learning community might be through the following questions.
What is a community?
What is an individual?
What is a group?
How is a community different from a group?
What is common to all communities ?
Next cluster teachers analysed a “learning community” using three different visual mapping tools coded at SOLO “Relational level” – part whole analysis, compare and contrast and causal explanation.
They built student self assessment rubrics against SOLO for each thinking process.
The difference in lead teacher understanding of “leaning community” before and after using the visual mapping tools was significant. Analysis that initially conflated a community with a group developed through collaborative mapping into an analysis that will prove useful as a measure of the healthiness of our ict_pd cluster learning community as the contract progresses.
When we audit the cluster we will be planning, monitoring and evaluating to what extent members;
• Feel a sense of membership (belonging)
• Feel that they matter to each other (everyone feels they can contribute)
• Feel their needs will be met by their commitment to each other (that they work together to meet the needs of other members and feel rewarded for their participation)
• Feel a shared emotional connection ( care – laugh and cry together about things that happen in the SustainEd community )
• Feel a sense of shared history
In the afternoon we moved into the computer suite and played with the editing functions of the cluster wiki , the comment and authoring functions of the cluster blog and found out about aggregators to keep track of all this play.
It was a great start ...